Shir Hadash is a Reconstructionist community committed to empowering and engaging Jews to create a vibrant and participatory Jewish community. Through a progressive approach we encourage and challenge people to find meaning in Jewish life.
A Letter from Rabbi Lane Steinger
The Psalmist sang, “shiru la’adonay shir hadash/sing to the Eternal a new song” (Psalms 96:1). We call ourselves “Shir Hadash/A New Song” because we believe we bring a freshness and vitality to congregational life—and because we love to sing.
Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community is unique. As the sole Reconstructionist congregation in the St. Louis area, we follow the philosophy developed by Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (of blessed memory), but we’re far from dogmatic.
Rabbi Kaplan defined Judaism not merely as a religion, but as the “evolving religious civilization” of the Jewish People. We honor Jewish tradition, but we’re also open to Judaism’s development and adaptation to meet current challenges, circumstances and needs.
We affirm God not as a supernatural being but as the power that inspires us to be the best we can be. We understand mitzvot as Jewish “folkways,” expressions of and connections to the Jewish People, rather than as divinely enjoined commandments.
We emphasize community. We are small by design and intention. We can know one another as individuals. We hope to grow, but only to the size which will enable us to be sustainable. Every important decision is made democratically by the entire membership.
For Shir Hadash, Torah/Learning is central. Study is integral to our worship and celebration. Please join us for services and other programs. I think you’ll find them engaging, enjoyable and enlightening.
Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community is warm, welcoming and inclusive, dedicated to the highest Jewish ethical standards and ideals. We are committed to being a learning, spiritual community, to representing Jewish Reconstructionism, and to democratic, values-based decision making.
If you have any questions about Shir Hadash or I can be helpful in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
We truly sing a new song to the Eternal. We would be delighted for you to add your voice to ours!
Kol tuv/Everything good, Rabbi Lane Steinger